Category Archives: Custom Color Printing

Apples and Stop-Motion

Randolph Community College – The Darkroom from Mandy Powers on Vimeo.

Digital Imaging class often leaves me (and from what I can tell, the rest of my classmates) completely drained. I have a feeling we’re getting better at Photoshop, but it involves a lot of hours staring at a computer.

Yesterday’s class was different, somehow. We were given an assignment to create a stop-motion video and it was due by the end of class. Less than four hours! By the end of the lab we were all gathering around watching each others videos and there was lots of oohing and ahhing and laughing. With such a tight deadline, perfection was elusive. But it was, indeed, great fun. We’ll have another stop-motion assignment with more time to plan and execute the idea.

Another digital assignment is the panorama. I spent a lot of time shooting landscape images for this assignment. I finally realized that although I enjoy looking at landscapes, I could not be less interested in shooting them myself. Last night I got some apples, went to the studio, and created a panorama that I really, really love. Like a lot.

20130919_big apples_the final apple pano by mandy copy

The apples are clickable for bigness, but even then it’s only a fraction of its true size. The print I made of this image includes 12 images stitched together in Photoshop and is over 4 feet long.

The first half of this first semester is rapidly coming to a close, and with it, lots and lots of deadlines are looming nearer and nearer. It’s going to be a mad dash to the finish!



yellow yarrow-1Click the picture for bigness.

This is my favorite picture form this semester, and is making me wish I could shoot with a large format camera all the time. I set this still life up at home over the weekend. I don’t have a studio (what is a studio anyway, but a room, amirite?) so I set this up on my kitchen table with a piece of mat board as my background. I was using daylight balanced transparency film so it is illuminated with daylight from the window. The exposure on the left was for 30 seconds, so no one was allowed to walk through the kitchen while I was making that frame. I scanned the film, created the diptych in photoshop, printed on ink jet paper, and mounted it for my large format portfolio! BOOM.

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Brown Eggs

spring 2013 port eggs3

As part of the shift from film to digital at school, we learned how to use the film scanners. Although you can get a relatively good scanner for cheap, the ones we have at school are top of the line. I’m going to try to do as much scanning as I can while I’m here because the results are really amazing!

The image above is a scan of a black and white negative that I used in my spring semester portfolio and is maybe one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken. It is a studio shot using the large format camera and 4×5″ film. I love the print I made with the negative (it’s hanging up at home!), but now I have this digital copy to work with now and long into the future.

The next assignment in Custom Color Printing is to create an ink jet print from a scanned (quality) negative. I’m not sure any form of printing will be more exciting than black and white printing in the darkroom, but I am absolutely sure I’d rather touch this up in Photoshop than with spotting dyes and a paintbrush.

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tamomat(click for bigness)

It’s hard to explain exactly what you see in this picture here. This set of prints was created for my “Pos/Neg” assignment in my Custom Color Printing class. I used transparency film to create a paper negative (on the left) in order to make a positive print (on the right). What you see above is a digital picture that I took of my two prints, which were mounted side by side.

See? It exists in real life, on paper, that you can hold. It is not just pixels.


So you start with a transparency. You know, like the slides your grandparents have. Usually you don’t use transparency film to make a print, but when you’re looking to have a little fun in the color dark room that’s exactly what you do. The result is the print on the left – the colors are backwards. In other words, I used my positive film to make a paper negative. The next step is to use the paper negative to make a positive print. See, even when I try to explain it clearly it just gets all mumble jumbly.

Nonetheless, the results are freaking cool. I’ve seen a bunch of my classmates’ projects and each one is totally unique and awesome.

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